2013 was the year the question "How do you feel?" became difficult to answer.
To me it seemed the answer was obvious. I could hardly be expected to feel happy that my husband was slowly suffocating to death could I? That I was glad that he was dead? That I like living every day without the man who made every day seem special?
Thus I would much rather have never been asked as I disliked feeling compelled to lie so as not to offend.
However, almost 9 months after he died, I now feel ready to answer the question.
The overwhelming thing I feel about 2013 is that I simply cannot comprehend all that has happened to me this year.
I do know, however, that I'm not the person I was at the beginning of the year because I'm now unemployed, a widow, a homeowner and financially well off.
I think my name's still Claire but I seem to be subjecting myself to analysis again at Charing Cross so who knows what they'll discover about me that I didn't already know myself!
What is strange though is that, even though I wept buckets and screamed at the walls, I feel happier now that my husband's died than I did during the last 6 months or so of his life.
Adding to my confusion is the feeling of being overwhelmingly sad that he died whilst, at the same time, glad that his death brought an end to his suffering.
But, by way of contrast, I've refused to end my own suffering by dying and opted instead to live. Obviously, what was good for my husband isn't good enough for me!
My opinion on the world around me also seems to have changed this year.
These days the warm glow I feel in my heart on seeing others in love seems to be accompanied by feelings of jealousy and bitterness.
And, now the answer has become less obvious, people have stopped asking me how I feel! Just what does that say about them exactly??
I also have to wonder why I still have so many good friends in my life when I've not been anyone even I would want to spend time with! Does that indicate extreme compassion on their part or extreme idiocy?
2013 has brought me few certainties.
I can't even be sure that I've been through the worst year of my life when I've achieved so much and found so many things to live for! Maybe it's actually the best year of my life in disguise? After all, this year I've qualified and gained work as an educator, been to 5 different Prides and hugged Peter Tatchell and, as mentioned, become financially wealthy and an outright homeowner! What's not to like about all that?
So what conclusions can I draw about 2013 when I'm not even sure what my reality is?
I can't be certain but I think the answer is I can't be certain; not about my past, not about my present and particularly not about my future.
So, as 2014 approaches over the horizon, I conclude 2013 with the thought that, if life is intrinsically uncertain, then it is best lived with a mind open to it's infinite possibilities - especially when life seems impossible.